While National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon is widely unpopular in the business community, his proposed successor, Richard Griffin Jr., is not a popular choice either. Griffinheld one of the recess appointments invalidated by Noel Canning. Before that, he was an attorney for the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Nonetheless, several observers predicted he would be confirmed and would continue Solomon’s pattern of taking bold action in support of unions, utilizing the GC’s prosecutorial powers to bring cases with issues important to unions before the board and issuing GC memos, which have quasi-legal effects.
Steve Bernstein, a Fisher & Phillips partner, suggests Griffin might issue GC memos designed to shorten the time it takes to reach a first contract—currently 14 months on average.
“You may see more focus on employers’ obligation to make concessions and refrain from discipline or dismissal during the bargaining process,” he says. “I think there is some pressure he can bring to bear there.”